What do you call the companies that provide translation and localization services? Funnily enough, in an industry that specializes in words and meaning, there is little agreement on what the best terms are for referring to these businesses.
Likewise, there is often debate about whether the environment in which these organizations and language professionals work should be referred to as a market, an industry, or a profession.
In, “The Words Others Use to Describe Those Who Translate,” published last August in the ATA Chronicle, Smartling’s VP of Market Development, Nataly Kelly, examines each of these terms, discussing which word or phrase is most appropriate for which setting and audience.
For example, did you know that “language services market” actually refers to a mechanism for buyers and sellers to exchange services? Meanwhile, “language services industry” generally refers to a collection of companies competing with each other. Meanwhile, “profession” generally refers to a paid occupation that requires formal qualification or training, as well as the body of people who perform the work.
So, are you part of a “market,” an “industry,” or a “profession?” If you’re a freelance translator, you’re part of all three.
And, if you represent a company that does translate website content or offers interpreting services, what should you call yourself? Translation vendor, suppliers, LSP, or all of the above?